Paring Down

This is the time of year where I always start to just withdraw a bit…the colder air, the darkness, the holidays coming and needing time to prepare….it always causes this shift in me.  Does it in you?

I think about…

Clothing for myself and the children:  what do we really need, what do we really wear?  How much is enough?  If I have just a few outfits, I especially like skirts, and some tops, I am fairly happy.  I find the more clothes my children have, the more overwhelmed they are.  I love paring down clothes.

Clutter.  This is such a good time of year to really go through closets, drawers, and really get things to be neater and simpler before the holidays.

The garden.  What needs pruning, what needs fertilizing, what needs mulching?

The kitchen.   What can I pare down and give away and what will I really need for holiday baking and cooking?

Our schedules.  We often are much better at cleaning up our homes than we are to say no to things in our schedule.  (At least I am!)  But, almost every winter we take breaks from things and honor our need to be home and together, to celebrate that inward journey of Advent.  This year I am making my way through this little book for Advent:  and want to have the space and time to just be.

It feels good to let go of things, to pare down, to relax and slow down.  Where are you these days?  How are you feeling?

Many blessings,


10 thoughts on “Paring Down

  1. Carrie I’m buying a house. And its much smaller than where I already live. So I’m very much paring down. I’ve looked at the children’s bedroom and wondered eek! Where am I going to keep clothing for 3 children? Also my own bedroom has only a little 1930s closet. Very cute but goodness where will clothes fit. I’ve told my husband that I’ll have to cull and I’m starting on his stuff. 🙂

    • Carla,
      Congratulations on your house!! How exciting not a lot of storage or not! Can’t wait to hear you are all moved in!

  2. Very inspiring as always, Carrie.
    I have been through the childrens toys (& my own! lol!) our clothes are sorted & my kitchen has been decluttered too!
    Struggling with the schedule – as pared down as is possible (or as I can see – fresh eyes are always good, arent they!) We have had some big changes in our household & I now have 2 part time jobs.Having always been more of a ‘home-body’ it can be a little disconcerting!
    I adore this time of year – the ‘breathing in’ & coming together after summer. Looking forward to ‘Stir up Sunday’ & then on to Advent.

  3. yes settling at home is so nice. Incidently this is the time of the year we can be more out and about and yet have a nice schedule and good breaks inside the house. in Summer the weather is simply too hot to go out here. Anyhow yes I have been through clothes, needs and wants and what not. I still need to declutter the kitchen and living/dining but getting there before Advent starts. Wish you a great month

  4. Shorter, darker days compel me to retreat too. It feels good to pare down to what is more essential, whether simpler dinners of soup and bread, or tidier spaces around us so our days are less cluttered. I welcome the approach of winter because it also inspires me to be more contemplative, quieter, more patient with inner as well as outer work. I make sure we have fewer family obligations outside the home and cherish our time together differently, somehow. Thank goodness for the turning of the seasons.

  5. It’s funny but I have always thought of spring as my ‘clean out the house’ time but this year I have found that fall has put me in a purging mood. We have cleaned out toy chests and school rooms and I feel like doing a little bit everyday. I keep a constant charity box going and I constantly remind my kids to re-examine things they have.
    Another suggestion though for this time of year is to really look at the holiday decorations. As I am pulling out the various decorations that I need for this time of year I am looking at everything with a critical eye. What do I really need and what am I just hanging on to out of habit?
    I am with you though – this time of year is the best…….we love the weather changes and the chance to catch our breath and cuddle in front of a fire 🙂

    • Tracy,
      Is this is first time you have commented to anything on here? I think only because you can comment to me in real life, hahahahhaha, but I am delighted today, my dear friend. Love you!!

  6. Yes, this is the time of year where I clean out as well. So much can go without even being missed. I declared this week as “homemaking week” – my fourth grader is sick and I am behind on the cleaning, the planning and the cooking. It is good to just take a week to come back to center. I am trying to quiet the voices in my head that keep saying I’m losing the rhythm of our current block, we need to keep going, and just give ourselves the time we need. This is why we homeschool, yes?
    Love to you.
    Sheila Petruccelli

    • Sheila,
      We have had some illness as well, and I am trying to remember to write down that next year, this is when I need to plan a week off because it always happens that way anyway! And yes, absolutely, this is one of the reasons we homeschool!

      Love to you!

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